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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday morning I set out on my highly modified 2000 Suzuki DRZ400S for my 70 mile loop through the Cleveland National Forest. The forest access roads of Cleveland are open to vehicles with a California license plate, which was the reason I purchased the street model of this capable dual sport steed, new, back in 2000.

The DRZ400S is generally recognized as a competant street bike, and a capable off-road mount. It is well balanced, and the recent SuperMotard version of this bike stands as verification of its abilities on the street. As an experienced motocross rider, however, I found the offroad capabilities of the stock model a little less rewarding. This was the motivation for my recent upgrades and modifications.

My bike is now equipped with a Yoshimura full-race exhaust, and I have rejetted it to match, and I removed the restrictive snorkel that feeds air to the airbox. All smog equipment accidentally fell off onto my garage floor, and the cooling fan was shed for weight, as were the passenger accomodations. The bars have been upgraded to ProTapers, the brake lines and pads were supplied by Galfer (LOVE Galfer brakes, as a side), and a 4.3 gallon Acerbis desert tank now provides plenty of drink for my thirsty throttle hand, the small stock metal tank is packed up for storage. Dunlop full-knobbies provide much better off-road traction than the stock dual-sport tires, and make the short freeway jount to the forest entry a bit more exciting.

The photos of the ride itself were taken on the bike BEFORE most of the heavy mods, but the first picture is of the bike as it looked yesterday. I feel okay about using the photos from a few months ago, because I rode the same route, and the day (like every other day here) was another perfectly sunny Southern California morining!

I set out early yesterday morning south on CA15 for only one exit, then a short surface street tour to Bedford Canyon, an almost hidden dirt road that leads up a steep incline south of the Eagle Glen golf course, and into the Cleveland National Forest. Since I ride this alone, frequently, I wore my full offroad gear and carried water, hiking boots, a space blanket, tools, lighter, cell phone and batteries, warm jacket, and some beef jerky in my enduro-style backpack. This Ogio system incorporates a Camel-back as well, providing me almost two liters of cold water for the ride.

The route I take continues up Bedford to an antenna installation on one of the highest peaks, and then joins Main Divide which heads south and eventually joins the Ortega Highway near the famous Overlook restaurant. The fire roads range from well-groomed hard-pack, to loose sandy sections, and some challenging shaled-out uphills, where throttle and steering skills are required to maintain momentum while avoiding some rather large "rim-buster" rocks. The views and the terrain are inspiring, and being alone forty miles from anyone keeps me riding within my safety zone. Fast and fun, but speed is checked since it would be a long lonely hike out, assuming that I had no broken bones, if anything did happen. This ride is a real life adventure, and it is only a few miles from my house.

The bike performed flawlessly, the extra power from the exhaust and airbox mods, combined with the correct jetting, have brought this bike to life. The bike now easily wheelies on the throttle, and power is available from idle all the way to the rev-limiter. After an egg sandwich and a coffee at the Overlook, I continued down another dirt road (not sure of the name) and into Lake Elsinore. I was tired and sweaty, so I rumbled home north on the street, Lake Drive to Old Temescal Canyon, and completed my seventy-mile loop back to my home.

It was an incredible ride with breathtaking views. Since the Ortegas divide the coast of Orange county and the Corona Valley, the views from Main Divide allow almost 360 degrees of scenery, to the coast and inland towards Riverside. This is an incredible dual-sport jewel that few know about, as I usually only pass the occasional hiker and/or mountain biker. That is just fine with me, mine to enjoy alone or with friends.

Now that the engine and power on this bike are sorted, I will next be upgrading the suspension to fully adjustable forks and shock, something that unfortunately the "S" model didn't come with...

If any of you out there are So Cal Dual Sport enthusiasts, feel free to send me a message, i'd love the company on one of these adventures.

Does MV make a dual-sport yet??? Damn!

Enjoy the photos,

Griff
twoeleven
 

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Discussion Starter #4
spalding12 said:
because those long-distance phone microwave relay centers are a GREAT place to get cancer !!!
I know...But the reception up there is FANTASTIC!!! I'm kidding, I don't hang around up there for very long anyway...I like to keep moving!

Thanks for the support, that big Beemer looks nice!

Griff
twoeleven
 

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Those are really nice photos and a nice write up too. :) I wish I still had a crosser; we have a lot of what are known as green lanes (unmade roads) in our local area and it would be good to have a bike with off road capability to explore them. :moped:
 

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I have a DRZ400S as well. Did a gravel road trip the other weekend ended up putting on 700+ miles. The stock seat was terrible. The Corbin is a smidge better. :) It's a fun little bike!

 
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